Minnesota job openings climbed to a record high in the second quarter of 2021, according to the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development, as demand for workers greatly outpaced hiring.

As the state’s economy continues to recover from the pandemic recession, employers in Minnesota reported more than 205,000 vacancies, according to the latest numbers by DEED.

The department said this was an 84% increase compared to the second quarter of 2020, and a 40% increase compared to the second quarter of 2019, prior to the pandemic. In contrast, the number of unemployed workers is down 59% compared to the second quarter of 2020, and up only 33% compared to the second quarter of 2019.

“DEED is laser-focused on connecting people who need work with the Minnesota employers who need them now,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement when announcing the numbers.

DEED’s biannual Job Vacancy Survey found that the state had 0.6 unemployed people for every job vacancy in the second quarter of 2021, returning to the tight labor market conditions of the three years immediately prior to the pandemic.

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The current unprecedented conditions are due in part to workers dropping out of the labor force over the past year due to COVID concerns or other pandemic-related pressures. The current labor market situation is also unique because it is the first time on record that job vacancies have increased during a recessionary period.

“We have transformed our model for helping job seekers, proactively reaching out to over 100,000 Minnesotans receiving unemployment benefits over the past seven months to let them know about the many employment opportunities available,” Grove said.

“And our new Build What Matters campaign is targeting out-of-state workers to entice them to come build the next chapter of our economy right here in Minnesota.”

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